By Billy L. Akin, CPCU, ARM      
August 2009


            Being a member of the CPCU Society, and especially the Mid-TN chapter, for over forty seven years has been a distinct privilege and has provided a  constant professional cohesiveness.  In whatever section of the insurance business, company employee, managing general agent, local agent, or consultant/expert witness, this relationship for me has been enjoyable and useful.  Opportunities  to develop  business friendships, participate in “networking”  and experience the camaraderie developed at Chapter meetings and  related activities has been memorable. Here is some historical data that I have gathered, couched in a few personal recollections.  


            The date of formation of the Chapter is somewhat a mystery.  There are records indicating that the Chapter was actually formed on November 25, 1951.  However, a January and March 1958 issue of the CPCU News announced the approval of the new Mid-Tennessee Chapter and information that announced its officers, including William E. Booth, CPCU, as the first president. No record of any activity during the 1951-1958 period is available.   It is speculated that chapter approval took several years after the application, that the chapter was originally a member of another chapter, or that older records are inaccurate.  Recognizing the need and opportunity for a local chapter of this professional organization, the Mid-Tennessee CPCU Society Chapter was formed and began operation by the following charter members:

                                    William E. Booth     ~          Nashville
                                    James Haugen         ~          Columbia
                                    C. M. Hunt, Jr.         ~          Nashville
                                    Samuel Loventhal     ~          Nashville
                                    Kenneth Roberdeau  ~          Nashville
                                    Rufus Ross              ~          Columbia
                                    William Ross            ~          Mt. Pleasant


            Early on members of the Chapter realized the importance of informing others about the CPCU Program and getting individuals involved in education leading to the CPCU designation.  For many years, examinations for the five national exams were given in June of each year. Education efforts in the early years were encouraged and supported by the University of Tennessee Extension School located in the old Hume Fogg High School building in Nashville.  Mr. J. B. Woods who was then director of the Extension School will always be appreciated by this Chapter.  He always went “all out” to help the education process to develop CPCUs. For several years, the Chapter was an all male organization.  The first and, for several years, the only lady in the Chapter was Ms. Clair Bourgeau of the Mills Mutual Company.  Later, Ms. Susan Jones was a lone female member of the chapter.  For the last several years the chapter has been delighted  to see growth to where ladies now compose about one third of the membership.


            The office of chapter president has always been the source and motivation of much of the chapter activity. Through the years this office has been the responsibility and privilege for many CPCU’s. The earliest known living president of the Chapter is currently Billy L. Akin who served from 1972-1973. The first president, Bill Booth, and Mary Tygret hold the distinction of being the only persons to be chapter president for two terms, Mary’s service being 14 years apart.


Mark Bell 2018
Patricia Fouts 2017
Jim Tracy 2016
Kate Goering 2015
Barbara Lilly 2014
Aaron Moss 2012-2013
Deb Ropelewski 2011-2012
Richard Richard 2010-2011
Tom Cunningham 2009-2010
Mary G. Tygret 2008-2009
Grant A. Lewis 2007-2008
James R. Mahurin 2006-2007
Brian P. Savko 2005-2006
Roy Boyd 2004-2005
Thomas L. Beadles 2003-2004
Teresa J. Smith 2002-2003
Kathryn R. Napier 2001-2002
D. Steven Wheeler 2000-2001
Ken Neil 1999-2000
Bob Nelson 1998-1998
Andy Wind 1997-1998
Christie Reeves 1996-1997
Tony D. Shipp 1995-1996
Mary G. Tygret 1994-1995
Charles T. Bidek 1993-1994
Cathey Wedekind 1992-1993
Clay T. Jackson 1991-1992
Greg S. Reichert 1990-1991
John L. Matthews 1989-1990
William C. Wilson, Jr. 1988-1989
Susan Jones 1987-1988
Newton P. Black 1986-1987
Robert L. Sinclair 1985-1986
Edice R. Smith 1984-1985
Stephen C. Lee 1983-1984
Thomas N. Potter 1982-1983
John A. Moriarity 1981-1982
David R. Cole 1980-1981
Robert W. Pierson 1979-1980
Ellis W. Christian 1978-1979
John E. Ryman 1977-1978
S. Larry Warren, Jr. 1976-1977
Harry E. Powell 1975-1976
John O. Eubank 1974-1975
Robert B. Sprouse 1973-1974
Billy L. Akin 1972-1973
Herbert W. Luton, Jr. 1971-1972
Louis A. Schmidt 1970-1971
Edward J. Knish 1969-1970
John C. Ralston 1968-1969
James T. Granbery, Jr. 1967-1968
Richard K. Wilson 1966-1967
Robert S.C. Wallace 1965-1966
O. Nelson Bryan, Jr. 1964-1965
William Rhett 1963-1964
Paul R. Smith, Sr. 1962-1963
Samuel C. Loventhal 1961-1962
C. M. Hunt, Jr. 1960-1961
William E. Booth 1959-1960
William E. Booth 1958-1959



            Although certainly not always the case, the office of president has usually followed a “coming up through the chairs” of other offices.  The Board members have typically offered names for election of the President, the President Elect, the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.   The president has normally appointed various chairpersons for special events.       Committee’s have usually included the following:  Education, Candidate Development, Hospitality, I-Day, Seminars/Workshops, Membership, New Designees, Public Relations, Research, Good Works and Section Liaison. Having held many of the offices and chair positions in the chapter, I realize that these duties can be both a pleasure and  problematic.  These duties usually expand one advantage of CPCU Society membership, that of the opportunity to become acquainted with other members of our profession, even business competitors.


            Through the years the regular Spring-Summer-Fall chapter meetings have typically been held on a monthly basis, alternating spasmodically between lunch and dinner meetings.  Meeting locations have rotated between country clubs, hotel meeting rooms, the University Club, corporate offices, and restaurants in the Nashville and Murfreesboro areas.  Programs at almost every meeting have included speakers, short seminars, or discussions of topics of special interest.


            Always interested in insurance education, and especially information needed for passing of the CPCU examinations, the chapter has sponsored many classes through the years.  Also, the chapter has regularly  made contributions to the Middle Tennessee State University Chair of Insurance, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Holman. From time to time the chapter has contributed to various charities and other non-profit organizations, under the “Good Works” program. I think my most memorable “outside” activity of the chapter has been the (normally)  annual I-Day, bringing together representatives of all sections of the local insurance industry  to hear  specially selected leaders and motivators from the industry.  Local and national figures and political leaders have highlighted these programs. Socially, the chapter has had many events that usually involve family members and friends from outside the chapter. For several years, these included the popular “Summer Hummer”, outings to a lake or other public recreation spot.  When held, the Christmas party, later to become known as the Holiday party, allowed chapter members to have association outside the context of business.


            Those of us that have been involved with the chapter for many years owe a debt of gratitude to those who have worked to make this association profitable and pleasant, while showing a respect for the CPCU  Canons and pledge.